February 29, 2004

Peterson Case - Berkeley Marina Photos - Dog Trail

Continuing yesterday's entry with the great photos found by Dottie, I am factoring in now the greater detail of the dog trailing at Berkeley Marina, given during the cross examination on 2/25.

I have a new photo and I marked what I think is the dog trail, using the directions given by the defense attorney, that being that the north east parking lot was the site of the successful dog trailing that lead to the western most pier of the boat ramps. Then, on that western pier, the dog hit on a "pylon" near a sharp right turn in the pier, giving it's indication for "the end of the trail". After waiting a moment, the dog took the turn, went about 15 feet, near a sharp left turn but then turned back to the "pylon" it had already hit on and again gave it's indication for "the end of the trail".

This is almost the exact area Dottie and her "elf helper" indicated last night, but I do not think it is the piling sticking out of the water as she thought, but rather just a large support beam under the pier and possibly extending above and on the pier as well. See image #4. Those telephone polelike beams are what the handler is calling a pylon. That area is a very logical place for Peterson to tie the boat after launching it alone. He could either hop out of the boat and onto the walking pier or wade through just a foot or so of water to get back into the truck and park it.

I've also included a photo showing a photo of the Berkeley fishing pier extending far out into the Bay, Alcatraz Island and Angel Island. What is interesting about this is that it shows the general area of where I believe the #4 red buoy is located, that Gloria Gomez reported was the buoy that investigators took paint samples from in order to explore a theory that Peterson tied his boat there to stabilize it as he tossed the body overboard. Please keep in mind that distance perception is really tricky in this photo. The islands and that buoy are a good deal farther out than it looks. That buoy is in almost a direct line from the end of the old fishing pier, possibly making it a bit of navigational landmark for a small boater? I am told though, that the water between that pier and that particular #4 buoy is pretty rough for a small boat like that Gamefisher.

The other more popular, and more easily reached possibility, is in the entrance to the Richmond shipping channel, a #4 red buoy inside the channel itself, where the waters sharply deepen. This is Dottie's choice and has been since her "elf" researched some maps for her months before the body was found. The waters on the way to that area are calmer and shallower if you navigate carefully until you are right upon the buoy almost.

All photos are thumbnails. Just click on the photo to enlarge it for better viewing.

rampdogpath.jpg
My interpretation of the dog trailing path at Berkeley Marina on 12/28/04. The yellow line is my interpretation of the dog trail. The green diamond is where I believe is the location of the pylon that the dog indicated was "the end of the trail". The yellow line extends beyond it because the handler's testimony stated he alerted to the pylon, waited, took the right turn, walked, took the left turn, walked about 15 feet then came back to the pylon and again gave the signal for "the end of the trial" at the pylon.


ramppylon.jpg
Without the yellow line, obscuring the piers. The green diamond is where I believe is the location of the pylon that the dog indicated was "the end of the trail".



pylons.jpg
These are what I believe they are calling "pylons". They are heavy supports under the pier, "like telephone poles", as the handler said. Very handy for tying a boat.


pylonupright.bmp
Or this may what the handler is calling a pylon... ABOVE the pier and very easy to tie off to. This is the one right at the right hand turn of that pier along the launch ramp.



doghandlerreport1.jpg
Portion of dog handler's report, as printed in National Enquirer. I may be skeptical of their stories most of the time, but when they publish official documents, I tend to believe them. They can be in a lot of trouble for publishing false reports with the agency's names on them.



doghandlerreport2.jpg
Portion of dog handler's report, as printed in National Enquirer. Read comment re: National Enquirer on above photo.


pierislands.bmp
Where I believe the #4 red buoy with horn, that a reporter indicated was the buoy where investigators took paint samples and did extensive diving.



MAP LINKS

Maptech map of Buoy #4 near Angel Island

Maptech map of buoy #4 at entrance of Richmond Inner Channel.

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As always, any comments I make on the Peterson case and the persons involved is opinion and speculation on my part based on media reports and conversations with Modesto friends which must be construed as rumor until and unless proven otherwise.

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February 28, 2004

Peterson Case - Berkeley Marina Boat Ramp Photos

Testimony from dog handler, Eloise Anderson in the Scott Peterson trial, indicated her trailing dog, Trimble picked up Laci's scent in a Berkeley Marina parking lot, followed it down a pier and alerted on a pylon, giving it's "end of the trail" indication to Anderson.

This was very interesting to me and I spent a lot of time with my friend and poster, Dottie Mae last night both in the comment section in the last entry, in emails and on the phone extensively discussing the boat ramp and if the dog was actually alerting on where Scott would have tied the boat while he parked the truck and if so where. Minutia to most, I know, but we were very interested and Dottie came up with some excellent photos of the ramp, parking lot and surroundings. Excellent, it really brings it to life to you, to see the ramps and docks as they are rather than a map or diagram.

We never figured out where he probably tied up and eventually concluded given how deserted the area would have been, night or day, one trip or trip theory... he probably just tied up right on one of the dock fingers of the launch ramp. We figure the dog was of course not trailing the exact path that Scott, the body or the boat took but rather the skin raft trail that would actually be blowing from the truck and landing a few feet to the side of the truck's path. Regardless, the photos are great reference material and good work by Dottie Mae and I wanted to share them here. The photos below are thumbnails, so to see them enlarged, just click on them.

rampfull.jpgWide view of ramp, docks, parking lot, area.
Click photo to enlarge.





ramp1.jpg
Overhead view of boat launch ramp.
Click photo to enlarge.


rampmedium.jpg
Medium range view of marina.
Click photo to enlarge.





rampcloseup.jpg
Closeup of ramp.
Click photo to enlarge.




QUOTE: from Testimony

2 exactly the way I did the first trail. I took her behind
3 the line of trees and opened the scent article, again
4 scented her on the same portion of scent article, the
5 glasses inside the case, and asked her to locate a trail.
6 She drove away from me for a very short distance,
7 to the end of her line, came back, went up against -- on
8 the pavement, but up along the edge of the tree line and
9 the vegetation line, and made a straight line -- where
10 there's a circle there? That was a little open area. She
11 did a circle up onto the vegetation and then came back out,
12 lined out, led -- head level, tail up and lined out
13 straight to the end of the -- to the end of that particular
14 pier where it made a sharp turn to the right, and stopped
15 by a pylon that's right there at that pier.
16 Q. And, again, this is a dog that's trained for
17 freshest scent or strongest scent?
18 A. That's correct.
19 Q. And so the dog started the trail and worked to
20 the end of the pier?
21 A. She didn't work to the very end of the pier. She
22 worked to a pylon right there where the pier made a sharp
23 jog to the right.
24 THE COURT: Is the pylon in the water?
25 THE WITNESS: There's a pylon -- it's like a
26 telephone pole that's anchoring the pier.

1521
1 THE COURT: So this was a pylon to a pylon in the
2 water. How far was the pylon from the pier itself?
3 THE WITNESS: The pylon, the pier was actually
4 connected to the pylon. It was part --
5 THE COURT: So somebody could tie up a boat?
6 THE WITNESS: Yes.
7 THE COURT: Okay.
8 MR. DAVID HARRIS: Q. Once the dog got to the
9 end of the pier and was at the pylon, what did Trimble do?
10 A. She stopped, she checked the wind currents coming
11 in from over the water, gave me hard eye contact, stayed by
12 my left side, which is an end of the trail indication.
13 I -- I gave her a moment to settle. She went,
14 took the turn and went to the portion of the pier where it
15 went about ten or 15 feet, made a sharp left, went about
16 another 15 feet there, stopped, came back, and came back to
17 the pylon. Again hard eye contact on my left side. End of
18 trail.

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February 26, 2004

Peterson Case - Gone to the Dogs

The last two days of Scott Peterson's preliminary trial have been spent in endless droning regarding the validity and admissability of the dog evidence. This necessary drone fest was punctuated with head shakings and an occasional jumping objection by Mark Geragos, sitting in the Peterson peanut gallery while two other defense flunkeys took to the fore.

I spent hours last night going through the transcripts up to Tuesday, which covered only Cindee Valentin's testimony. The salient points from that day have been covered fairly well by the various media. Other details from Eloise Anderson's turn on the stand on Thursday are emerging also.

A few points to note:


  • The defense made much of the bloodhound Merlin first going to a house behind and "catty corner" to the Peterson's backyard. Since the dog follows the freshest trail, this is curious to me as well. Could it be that this yard is near where the shed where the tarp that a cadaver dog showed interest in, was found? Could that affect the dog, say if Scott shook out the tarp and folded it there, sending the skin rafts into the breeze to collect in that yard?
  • If the cadaver dog hit on a blue tarp in the shed, then wouldn't you think that the dog was taken in the house as well? I was sure I had heard or read that a cadaver dog showed interest in a certain spot on the carpet in one room. Remember there is that tabloid story and early online rumor of a friend of Laci's visiting Scott and finding him vacuuming vociferously.

  • The dog that hit on Laci's scent at Berkeley Marina actually alerted not on the pier but as follows, as quoted in the Mercury News.

    QUOTE:
    Anderson, a dog handler who works with Contra Costa County, testified Wednesday that her Labrador retriever named Trimble gave Anderson ``hard eye contact'' indicating an ``end of the trail'' at a pylon supporting a pier at the Berkeley Marina on Dec. 28, 2002, four days after Laci Peterson disappeared.


    The pylon was in the water in ``the kind of area you tie up a boat, not the launch area,'' Anderson said.

    Now don't think "pylon", as in those orange cones along construction sites. What they are referrring to are the main support beams under the pier. Those are also called pylons, and yes, some people would tie up to them. Most notably when they launch a boat alone. They would have to ease the boat off the trailer, tie it up to keep it from drifting away, and wade back to the truck to park it. And don't forget, there are supposed to be witnesses at the marina, who saw him back into a pylon. Not sure if that fits in here or not, but interesting. Did Scott tie up the boat, holding the body, to a pylon, while he parked the truck?

  • From the Tri-Valley Herald:

    QUOTE:
    The cadaver dog, Twist, was used to search inside Peterson's storage warehouse on Dec. 27, 2002 in an attempt to see if a body had been brought there. "The dog ran its nose across the starboard bow of the boat, and went to some boxes and barked in frustration because she could not pinpoint any source," Anderson said.

    Remember the red paint residue was found on the starboard (right) side of the boat?

  • Sharon is feeling the stress, of course.

    QUOTE:
    When prosecutor Dave Harris asked her if it mattered whether the dog actually found the missing woman, Valentin paused and responded: "It would matter to the family."

    Laci Peterson's mother, Sharon Rocha, seated in the front row of the courtroom, broke down at that moment.

  • On Fox & Friends this morning, frequent legal commentator, Judge Andrew Napolitano, said that Judge Delucchi will allow the dog evidence. That is his opinion. Personally I think he won't allow it, but I'll be happy to be wrong! But the good judge has to throw the defense a bone here and there, so to speak.
  • Judge Delucchi is guilty of wishful thinking.

    QUOTE:
    “That is misconduct. That is a discovery violation,” Geragos animatedly said.

    Judge Al Delucchi disagreed, cheekily adding he thought one morning would pass without an objection by Geragos.


hounds.jpg

OTHER DOGGY NEWS on a Lighter Note:

Black Lab pulls a Gilligan. Yeah!

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As always, any comments I make on the Peterson case and the persons involved is opinion and speculation on my part based on media reports and conversations with Modesto friends which must be construed as rumor until and unless proven otherwise.

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February 25, 2004

Peterson Case - Courtroom Notes Etc. 2/24

Very little to pass on but I did get to talk to a friend who was able to read me the court document of the DA's response to the defense's motion to throw out the media interviews. This was the document that caused Geragos to display his apoplectic, newspaper waving fit at the beginning of court yesterday.

There is a discrepancy between what was reported in the ModBee and what I heard in the reading of the court document. I will have to voice my disclaimers here first. I did not read the document, and I only heard the long portion of it which I call the "laundry list" of lies that the DA contends Scott Peterson told in media interviews. The detail that is in dispute in my estimation is this:

QUOTE:
Also, Peterson "covered up the murder" in the couple's Covena Avenue home by concealing his wife's body in large blue "market umbrellas" which he carried to his pickup, according to the document.

http://www.modbee.com/local/story/8183851p-9035405c.html

Again, I was read the document over the phone and I specifically told my friend that I was questioning this report regarding the body being in the umbrellas. I had them read the part of the document regarding the umbrellas to me three times . It did not say anything about the body being concealed in the umbrellas. It only pointed out that Scott lied to Diane Sawyer and others about taking the umbrellas to storage, when in reality the police found them in the truck that night. In my opinion it was inferring somewhat, in a later passage that the body or evidence was concealed in a blue tarp, carried to the truck.

So, I am out on a limb here, since the San Mateo courthouse refuses to allow the public access to the actual court documents, something I object to with fury. They claim this is not a "secret trial". Call me ill informed, or whatever, but it damn sure smells like one to me. But, as read to me, that document did not say the body was in the market umbrellas. I can only vouch for what was read to me. Without a hard copy, I can't swear with absolute certainty there was not a odd mention outside that "laundry list" of lies, in the document. But I do not think there was. This is why the public should have access to court documents with some semblance of ease. But no, they refuse to fax or mail them to you at any price and we are left at the mercy of the media.

romantic.jpgOne other detail I picked up from the reading, that I found in no media report was the following:
We know Scott told Diane Sawyer that he confessed to Laci about the affair in early December. But, the court document claims this is another lie. It says Amber reported to police that Scott told her that he had informed Laci of their "affair" in November, soon after their first date. I have to interject here, that I do not call a tumble after the first date, an "affair". I'd just call it "getting lucky" at that stage of their game, but that's just my jaded, old opinion, to each his own, I guess. Anyway the point is, once again, Scott Peterson could not keep his lies straight, he could not remember what lie he told to whom and when. The lying jerk needed a PDA just to keep his lies in line.

The document does state that the prosecution intends to use only Scott's own statements from the recorded interviews. I believe this means they will not show the entire interviews in court, but only the reporter asking the selected question and Scott's answer, no commentary from the reporters. All four reporters, Diane Sawyer, Ted Rowlands, Gloria Gomez and Jodie Hernandez were mentioned by name in the court document.

Courtroom notes... not much to recount here, as Laura Ingle already did a great job passing on some tidbits which have been reported on forums. I did pick up from my friend that defense attorney Pat Harris did most if not all the cross examination in court yesterday. But a most interesting tidbit was that Mark Geragos sat in the Peterson family "pew" as I call it, next to Lee Peterson, almost all day, rather than at the Defense table, next to Scott. He was observed frequently making comments to Lee throughout the proceedings.

Something else, I have to dance around vaguely... somebody central to the case REALLY doesn't like Judge Delucchi. Thinks the judge doesn't listen fully before making "snap decisions", isn't very conducive to hearing and considering certain arguments. Doesn't like the judge, has said so, is really ticked off by him at times.

----------------------
Personal opinion observation whatever.... Scott said his relationship with Amber was a "a long-term, caring relationship" and compared it to the movie "Love Affair".

Please... give me a break or tell me where to buy one.

The odd similiarity here is that the people in the movie fall in love and agree to go home and break off their engagements to other people, put their lives in order so they can be together and then meet again in a few months. Now think of Scott telling Amber he wants to spend his life with her, but he has to be gone for a few weeks to fix it so he can "be hers". Makes you think for a second. Maybe Scott is just a hopeless romantic with a murderous streak?

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February 24, 2004

Peterson Case - Animal, Vegetable or Mineral?

In the old parlor game Twenty Questions, one player challenged the next to guess the mystery item by garnering bits of info via queries to which the challenger could only answer Yes or No. As the title implies, you were allotted only twenty questions before being declared a loser. The first three questions were nearly always... Animal? Vegetable? Mineral?

The court and legal entities trying and defending Scott Peterson began yesterday to define their version of this game to choose the jury which will decide Peterson's fate and ergo the victor of their lengthy game. A meager twenty questions didn't suit them of course, considering the high stakes, so the agreed upon quota is over one hundred questions. The Animal, Vegetable or Mineral queries are not on the list, of course, but the intent may still be there.

The prosecution could be said to be seeking Animal jurors, people possessing a sufficiently feral enough nature to impose a death sentence on a human being. Carnivores.

The defense, one might consider was seeking Vegetable jurors, mild mannered, no independent thought or motion. Herbivores.

The Court, the fair public, Justice itself may be thought to seek Mineral jurors, people with nerves of steel and iron wills, able to withstand the prosecution's cold accusations and the heated protestations of the defense without bending to the will of either. Omnivores.

Of those over one hundred questions to be put to potential jurors are some that can be understood with little thought while others illicit a baffled "Huh? What's their point there?"

Some of the questions expect be agreed upon include: (wording is not verbatim)

  1. Do you own a gun?
  2. avm.jpg

  3. Do you have a bumper sticker on your car?
  4. What is your religious affiliation?
  5. What is your opinion of extramarital affairs?
  6. Have you ever lost a child?
  7. What magazines and books do you read?
  8. What Internet sites do you visit?
  9. What television shows do you watch?
  10. What section of the newspaper do you turn to first?


??????????????????


How would Scott Peterson answer those questions?


  1. Yes, I own a gun, I own a lot of guns.
  2. Bumper sticker? Oh please. All those people with those "Proud parent of honor roll student", how tacky is that?
  3. Religion? Self worship.
  4. Opinion of extramarital affairs? A high one, believe me. A mile high opinion in favor of them.
  5. Ever lost a child? Umm... yes, you might say that.
  6. Magazines and books? Fertilizer Weekly, anything by Homer.
  7. Internet sites? Uhh... tidal charts, very interesting stuff.
  8. TV shows? Hmm, well I mistakenly ordered some "adult channels" once. I thought they meant The History Channel and grown up stuff like that.
  9. What section of the newspaper do I turn to first? Errr, uh... well usually the front page has what I'm interested in ... ME.

Tongue in cheek firmly for those Scotty answers.

Links:
http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=domesticNews&storyID;=4420766

http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/news/world/8023761.htm

http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2004/02/24/PETERSON.TMP

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Other notes....

QUOTE:
SUBPOENA: Senior Deputy District Attorney Rick Distaso said the prosecution subpoenaed and received records from the Trader Joe's grocery store on Dale Road in Modesto. It was unclear why prosecutors asked for the records.

http://www.modbee.com/local/story/8183852p-9035406c.html

QUOTE:
Also, Peterson “covered up the murder” in the couple’s Covena Avenue home by concealing his wife’s body in large blue “market umbrellas” which he carried to his pickup, according to the document.

and

QUOTE:
In upcoming testimony, prosecutors will “present evidence from a petrographer (a kind of geologist) that the cement rings found in his warehouse did not match cement samples taken from his house,” reads the document.

These quotes are from the following article and much more detail is to be found in it as well.
http://www.mercedsun-star.com/news/newsview.asp?c=96996
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February 21, 2004

Peterson Case - Courtroom Notes Etc. I

This entry is just a catchall of impressions and tidbits I was lucky to pick up from a California friend or two who attended last week's Peterson preliminary. Read my disclaimer at the bottom of every Peterson entry. While I have every reason to believe my friends, you don't, and I understand and respect that. But I do, so read on and take it as you will. There is not a lot, since it ran only three days and a good deal of one day was spent in the judge's chambers away from the courtroom's view and hearing.

  • Courtroom observers are impressed with and entertained by Judge Delucchi, it seems. My friend recounted many of his quips, with much laughter and said he has a sharp wit and is quick to use it. What we lose in being able only to read transcripts are his quickness, his inflection and physical expressions, all of which my friend said punctuate his wit quite amusingly. The friend also said Delucchi does indeed seem quite fair, both sides got a taste of his rapier wit, but at least in this opening week, Geragos felt it's prick more often. I am giving myself an "A" for that metaphorical turn.


  • pray.jpg
  • One reason Geragos may be getting the prick of the judge's rapier more often is his propensity to shout and bluster in court this week. I was told the judge is thus far not squelching his volume, but taking it rather calmly, sort of quietly putting him in his place at times. Darn I wish we could see this, instead of reading the transcripts.
  • As I posted on a previous entry, my observing friend opined that the media was making far too much of the judge's "scolding" of the prosecution. They said that exchange from the judge was delivered in a pretty low key fashion.
  • An example of spin by omission... media conveyed reports of a woman accosting Geragos, shouting at him because he was "representing a murder". The reports I read made it seem she might be almost a one woman lynch mob. What they didn't include was that this same woman was also heard shouting about Scott being convicted by the media but when Geragos appeared she then jumped to a tirade about representing a murderer.

    I stopped my friend and said; " you mean she was taking both sides, innocent and guilty?" "Yeah!", was the answer, "she was just all over the place with what she was saying. We thought she was a total nut and they eventually kicked her out".

-----------------------
Etc. not related to the courtroom.


  • I saw this week's Globe tabloid article posted online, courtesy of Rickamorti. I was about to dismiss it all as tab trash, but when I read about the part about dinner, I recalled a tidbit that was told to me months ago in private, not to be repeated. It involved Christmas dinner and as I read, I thought, geez, that sounds like what my friend told me, but the Globe has way more details. I wondered if it was the same incident. So I asked.

    The friend was rather shocked and angry to hear it was in the Globe and asked me to read the whole article to them. I did. They confirmed practically everything in that article, as being true. They were so upset about a tabloid having the info and that someone is, in their opinion selling it to them. They even gave me two other details about the Christmas dinner that were not in the Globe, about another person who was there later, and a comment made by one of the women present.

  • Ted Rowlands is probably not the only reporter to be subpoena'ed. I have no confirmation on that, but I think so. Rumor is, at least one of them doesn't want to take the stand because they don't want to be cross examined by Geragos. My personal opinion... they are afraid he'll make them look like a fool. Now I ask you... is that such a hard job, even for Geragos?
  • Again, my personal opinion or musing... Geragos wants to have the media interviews and statements tossed out. One way, I think he could do this is by claiming the reporters had informations, tips or questions fed to them by Modesto police investigators. I believe this would make them agents of the police? That, I think could get the interviews and statements tossed. Geragos would have to put the reporters on the stand and question them as to what MPD may have told them. I could be completely wrong about this, but I think it is a possible tactic.
  • Vivian Mitchell, the deceased Modesto resident, who believed she saw Laci walking past her house, was honored by her stepdaughter, an IBM fellow. The article states Mrs. Mitchell's memorial is today.

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ADDENDUM - Added 2/22/04 at 8:50pm. I am tacking this on here, rather than lost in the comment section, or a separate entry. I just got the time to look up Dr. Devore, who the prosecution has added to the witness list and Geragos is protesting.

Pre-trial Transcript excerpt:


11 discovery. There has been about two batches of it come
12 in, and now an additional witness list. One of the
13 witnesses that's identified on the witness list, there
14 is a CV contained in the discovery, and it's for a
15 Doctor Devore who is from Pasadena, who's got a
16 specialty in -- he's an obstetrician, but he has even a
17 more defined specialty than that, that I can't even
18 pronounce.

Geragos makes me ill, so blatantly trying to belittle Dr. Devore by calling him an "obstetrician" and "something" he can't pronounce. Oh yeah, "perinatologist" is really hard for someone who routinely has Latin legalese rolling off his hairy tongue.

CHECK OUT DR. DEVORE'S QUALIFICATIONS here:
http://www.obgyn.net/all_advisors/G_Devore.htm

Looooooooonnnnggg and IMPRESSIVE!
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February 20, 2004

Peterson Case - Eight Days In January

I am prefacing this entry with an apology for being tired after entertaining my wonderful Mom for much of the night at a casino for her birthday. I offer that excuse for any detail I may miss in this little compilation and invite anyone many people reading here to add or correct me, via posting in the "Comment" section and then I will edit the list and entry late tonight, when time allows. Also, the transcript for 2/19 is not available as I write this and I am relying on a couple of bits of info from yesterday's ModBee article. The transcript may show them to be a bit more fleshed out and that may color things.

After I got home early in the A.M. , I tried to catch up and upon reading the Modbee article was intrigued over Scott being in the Bay and marina area on January 26 and 27. So I went back to a few sites and compiled the following just to try to get a picture of what was going on then. Please check it out, and let me know if you see possible inaccuracies. I feel oddly like there is something in this puzzle below that says something, not sure. One thing is for sure... Scott Peterson was booking all over California in those few days!

  • January 22 - The Rocha's retape their interview for America's Most Wanted. Scott dines at the Red Lion in Modesto, with Tradecorp exec, Eric Van Innis and party, reportedly in noticeably good spirits.
  • January 23 - Innis and party check out of the Red Lion. Saltzman and another hotel employee report to Fox's Rita Cosby that Scott said he was taking them to San Francisco for sightseeing and then to the airport.

    highway.jpg

  • January 24 - The Rochas and Amber hold their separate and revealing press conferences. Scott is reported to be in San Diego, with his family and will not comment to media. A Laci search event was supposed to have taken place there on January 25.
  • January 25 - The San Diego event is "postponed". Kirk McAllister tells media that Scott will not be talking to them, on orders from him. According to preliminary transcripts, Scott talks to Amber five times. America's Most Wanted airs the Laci/Rocha family segment.
  • January 26 - According to the Modbee article, new documents entered as evidence on February 19, show Scott was in San Francisco, circled the Marina driving the Land Rover, then headed south to Sunnyvale. John Walsh is in Modesto, at the Covena house, encouraging Scott to meet him to tape a segment of the John Walsh Show. He stated on Larry King Live that while waiting for hours for Scott to show up, he spoke to him via phone and Scott said he was late, he was playing golf. So did he play golf then drive to San Francisco? Or drive to San Francisco and then back to Modesto and play golf? Or played golf in San Francisco? Or didn't play golf at all, anywhere? Or was not even in Modesto at any time that day, but was actually in San Francisco all day, never intending to meet Walsh, and lied yet again? I would have to say in answer to any of these possibilities... WHY? At some point on the 26th, Scott talks to McAllister.
  • January 27 - Scott is again, or still, in San Francisco, in the marina area, this time in a Dodge truck, around 3pm. Then he goes to the San Francisco airport and parks around 9:15pm. Supposedly he does the Diane Sawyer interview in Los Angeles that night, because the first part of it airs on the morning of January 28. An interview after a flight from San Francisco starting at 9:30pm is pretty late, but I guess they'd have done it at anytime of day, just to get it? He talks to Amber three times via phone.
  • January 28 - Media swamps Scott at San Francisco airport as he arrives from an L.A. flight.
  • January 29 - Scott does interviews at the Covena house in Modesto, with Rowlands, Gomez and Hernandez. An L.A. disc jockey harangues him with a bullhorn, from his driveway. If I am not mistaken, TV video footage from that incident, shows Scott leaving in the Land Rover and returning in a Dodge pickup truck. Do I have all this right?

Compressing this...

  • 1/22 - Modesto

  • 1/23 - San Francisco

  • 1/24 - San Diego

  • 1/25 - ?? in transit?

  • 1/26 - San Francisco

  • 1/27 - San Francisco & Los Angeles

  • 1/28 - Los Angeles, San Francisco & Modesto

  • 1/29 - Modesto

Some things about all this are confusing. I am wondering if the ModBee had something incorrect in their article and will doublecheck it against the transcripts when available. But the most confusing part is.....
on 1/26 he's in San Francisco driving a Land Rover. On 1/27 he's in San Francisco, driving a Dodge truck which he apparently parks at the airport, goes to L.A., then picks it back up on 1/28? But then on 1/29, he's seen in Modesto, at home with the Land Rover again, but later leaves and returns with a Dodge truck.

I am wondering .... did he drive the Rover to S.F., them maybe rent a Dodge truck for some reason, but why? Then drive the Rover back to Modesto and trade it for a Dodge truck? Or did he go to S.F. on 1/26 in the Rover. Then go back to S.F. again on 1/27, maybe testdriving the Dodge truck he eventually bought?
This is confusing.

Maybe the transcripts will reveal a mistake and I'll edit this and clean it up. Regardless, this reveals a man darting all over California in the space of a few days, and a man not much concerned with searching for a missing wife. Also to be noted, though in fairness, Scott could have been tracked in San Francisco on those two days, simply because he went there to get a flight to L.A., maybe? Surely there was a closer airport though? And that still doesn't explain being tracked in two different vehicles, on two consecutive days, in S.F. And why so many apparent, and separate trips to San Francisco?

Also to be questioned... if Scott was truthful when he told the Red Lion employee that he was taking Innis to San Francisco on the 23rd, was he tracked there on that day as well by GPS? It is not mentioned, at least so far. If he did indeed go to San Francisco that day, and was not tracked... why not? It may be because he was renting or using other cars that MPD couldn't get a tracker on quick enough, which in turn means there could be many more impromptu trips to the Bay?

Links
http://www.crimenews2000.com/lacipeterson/when/when0301.htm
http://www.lacipeterson.com/whatshappening/page07.htmlhttp://www.lacipeterson.com/whatshappening/page08.html
http://www.modbee.com/local/story/8142525p-8995427c.html

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As always, any comments I make on the Peterson case and the persons involved is opinion and speculation on my part based on media reports and conversations with Modesto friends which must be construed as rumor until and unless proven otherwise.


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February 19, 2004

Peterson Case - Geragos Blows

Forgive the light hearted title but I thought after Lee Peterson's recent pronouncement that his son's trial would be a "blowout" for the defense it was an apt observation to say... Geragos blows.

After reading the transcripts for 2/17, talking to a friend who has been attending the pretrial and hearing a talking head or two describe his performance in court, I have a picture in my head of a whale floundering about in front of the bench, "spouting" hot air instead of water. Only in Geragos' case, the blowhole isn't in the top of his head... you can fill in the blank here, flatulence and all.

whale.jpg

The Uber Lawyer spent a lot of oxygen complaining that he was only now receiving nearly 1000 pages of discovery from the prosecutors, which he inferred contained earth shaking exculpatory evidence, of course insinuating deliberate dastardy by the DA. The media lost no time in offering reports of how the judge scolded the prosecution for their actions, making it sound like they were exposed as liars and schemers. I was told by the friend who attended that day, that in their opinion, the media made more of the "scolding" than it actually merited, that it was actually fairly brief and low key.

What the media and the talking heads chose to ignore was what Distaso said about this sheaf of pages that Geragos just got his grubby paws on.

From the 2/17 transcript, bolding added:

Pg 749
3 MR. DISTASO: Yes, I do believe that. The -- the

4 -- I will state for the record the Department of Justice
5 did a huge volume of work in this case. And in -- in the
6 recent last couple of weeks we've gotten something on the
7 order of 800 or a thousand pages from them of -- of
8 technician notes and other things. Not --
9 THE COURT: Relating to what?
10 MR. DISTASO: Relating to work they've done.
11 Just various scientific tests that they've completed. And
12 that information has been reduced to report form, and most
13 of that has been discovered long ago. This is, like, notes
14 and things that they've been sending us over.
15 And I will say as soon as we get it -- in fact, I
16 think we got 800 pages to them -- we got it like at 4:00
17 o'clock in the afternoon, and I think we got it to them the
18 next morning. So I'm funneling it to them as quick as I
19 can.

I take this to mean these pages of discovery were:

  • Only received by the DA, a couple of weeks ago from the Department of Justice? You can't give it to the defense if you don't have it yourself.
  • These are adjunct notes regarding tests, whose results were already reported to the DA some time ago and therefore the defense already? In other words, just notes on stuff the defense already knew, but now being used to sex up the whining.
  • Distaso says they got these 800 pages at 4:00 in the afternoon and believes they got them to the defense by the next morning? If Geragos wants them any quicker he may need to ask Jackie for the name of that psychic in Florida she hired to fondle Laci's shoe.

While the media was doing a Peanuts dance over the judge chiding the prosecution, they ignored his comments in the same vein to Geragos, as follows:

From the 2/17 transcript,bolding added:

20 MR. GERAGOS: Well, now, my paralegal just tells
21 me, we got from them to the defense a disc today. Know
22 what a hundred pages of it was? Orion pages. So here
23 we've done the hearing and had the Kelly-Frye and I'm
24 getting discovered to me a hundred pages --
25 THE COURT: I think, Mr. Geragos, if it's any
26 bomb, I think you've exhausted the subject matter pretty

750
1 well. I wouldn't feel that you're lost in that regard.

Both my friend who has been attending the pretrial and at least one TV commentator has mentioned Geragos "shouting" in court to make his arguments before the judge. Geragos blows.

Geragos protestations of important information being held back by the DA included revelations of:

  • Blood in the boat turned out not to be blood after all. All I can say is after the episode in which the Uber Lawyer's team claimed the infamous "brown van" had blood stains in it, which later turned out to be ketchup.... I'm skeptical about any phrase he turns that includes the word "blood". I have a suspicion that the DA never claimed it was blood, but had everything in the boat tested.
  • Hair on the duct tape found on Laci's remains did not match Scott. So? Who did it match? Laci? The dog? The cats? The tape was attached to Laci's pants. She wore those same pants to her sister's salon. They could have hair from a salon patron. She may have worn them to the OB GYN that day, removing them possibly, so yet another place they could pick up foreign hair. You know, that hair transfer theory that the defense used to explain Laci's hair in the plier's cuts both ways.

  • Geragos spouted on about "seven witnesses" who thought someone else killed Laci. I bet they're real winners, I just hope they won't mind removing their tinfoil hats to get through the metal detector when they show up in court to testify. Seven witnesses? It sounds like there's a fairy tale missing it's dwarfs.
  • ONE THING you can be sure of... it there was a damned thing in those 800 pages that Geragos felt was truly exculpatory or needed serious research to develop into something useful...
    HE WOULD HAVE ASKED FOR A CONTINUANCE.

    He did not. In fact, he specifically said he did not want a continuance, nor did Scott. So, are we to believe that Scott is in such a hurry to get it on he can't even wait for exculpatory evidence to be explored? Yeah, that makes sense. Geragos blows... and so does his client.

    ANOTHER NOTE .... Geragos was no doubt positively gleeful that the judge disallowed the testimony of Kristen Dempewolf, the woman who was hypnotized. Yet, without a molecule of shame, he refused to admit that his objections to her testimony would also negate any possible testimony from Diane Jackson. At least I think this is what the mustachio'ed marvel was saying here. It sounds disconnected and garbled and near senseless to me. Maybe he's been hanging around Scott too long and can no longer construct a coherent sentence?

    From the 2/17 transcript:


    14 MR. GERAGOS: Except Mr. Distaso is wrong.
    15 And I don't think such time as I reasonably anticipate
    16 I'm going to call that witness, that that's even a ripe
    17 issue. I think the only reason that Dempewolf was
    18 raised at the prelim was when I put on the -- they were
    19 just calling her as a witness. They never did provide
    20 the analysis and the motion respect to response to
    21 that.
    22 As far as whether the defense intends to call,
    23 we haven't made that decision. Probably won't for a
    24 little while. If we do, I will present to the Court
    25 under the same analysis, that we did with Miss Dempewolf
    26 one other area. We were not the ones who did the

    731
    1 hypnosis. There is a due process consideration in that
    2 thing that inures to the defense that's separate and
    3 apart from what the prosecution has done here, because
    4 as to both of these witnesses, they hypnotized both of
    5 these witnesses prior do my client even being arrested.
    6 So there is a situation I think that's appreciably
    7 different.
    8 I'm willing at this point, however, to let the
    9 Court rule as Miss Dempewolf, because I think it's a
    10 case-by-case basis. I don't think the Court has to make
    11 a ruling and say, okay, what's good information. It is
    12 good for the gander. I don't think we're at that point.

    Geragos blows.

    Of course that's just my own little opinion.

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    As always, any comments I make on the Peterson case and the persons involved is opinion and speculation on my part based on media reports and conversations with Modesto friends which must be construed as rumor until and unless proven otherwise.

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    February 18, 2004

    Lee Peterson - "It's Going To Be A Blowout"

    "It's going to be a blowout," Lee Peterson said, "and my kid's going to walk out of here."

    From the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary:

    Main Entry: blow·out
    Pronunciation: 'blO-"aut
    Function: noun
    1 : a festive social affair
    2 : a bursting of a container (as a tire) by pressure of the contents on a weak spot
    3 : an uncontrolled eruption of an oil or gas well
    4 : an easy or one-sided victory

    Unless Jackie is planning on serving tea in court, I am going to make a wild assumption here and assume Lee Peterson is using the word "blowout" as in #4, that being, "an easy or one-sided victory".

    I have absolutely no doubt whatsoever that the machinations of the camel nosed, mustachio'ed Mark Geragos could effect an acquittal for Scott Peterson, especially with the help of the likes of Jo Ellan Dimitrius and the dubious practice of "jury consulting". However, Mr. Peterson, I seriously doubt it is going to be easy or one-sided. How can he even think that? How can he stand there and even voice such nonsense? Apparently both he and his wife are possessed of a defective gene that causes the bearer to use choose quizzically inappropriate words. After breeding, these two produced son Scott, who now carries the family's linguistic scrambles into new realms, even pompously telling a judge what is "appropriate".

    kid.jpg
    "It's going to be a blowout," says Lee. Pardon me, but is a reality check in order here? I think so. With all due or undue respect Mr. Peterson, this is not Scott, the tot, on the Little League team with you as one of those parents from Hell on the sidelines. I don't think any case in which the victims' bodies turn up in the same vicinity as the accused merrily placed himself is a "blowout". Nor is it a "blowout" when he blubbers to his thin, blonde side order that he "lost his wife" and this is his first holiday without her and VOILA! ... a couple of weeks later she really is "missing".

    "and my kid's going to walk out of here." says Lee. Another slap of reality, Mr. P.... he's thirty one and he's neck deep in fresh fertilizer to put it nicely. That does NOT constitute a KID. That is a fully grown adult suffering the consequences of his own actions. I am almost as sick of hearing Lee Peterson call this grown man a kid, as I am of hearing every blasted reporter comment on how much weight poor Scott has lost. When he's lost as much as Laci did, I'll take notice.

    Yes Mr. Peterson, your "kid" may "walk", that's just the way our justice system sometimes works. But that won't make him innocent and he's going to have to "walk" far and fast to get away from the civil suit that will follow.

    ------------------------------------------------
    ADDENDUM -- added on 2/18/2004 at 9:07pm
    I just got off the phone with a contact who was in court the past two days. The friend said in their opinion, the media is making the "scolding" of the prosecution by the judge out to be more than it was, that it was actually fairly brief and fairly low key. That was their impression. Also says that Geragos was really getting into with the judge yesterday regarding his requests for sequestration and two juries, that it got pretty loud and lively between them.

    The friend also observed media asking Lee Peterson about his display of "confidence" yesterday and that Lee replied yes, he was confident. When someone answered back that "well some people think your son is guilty", Lee then said something to the effect of "I wonder where they'd get that idea, the media maybe?". These are not EXACT quotes, but the gist of what was heard and observed.
    ------------------------------------------------
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    As always, any comments I make on the Peterson case and the persons involved is opinion and speculation on my part based on media reports and conversations with Modesto friends which must be construed as rumor until and unless proven otherwise.


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    February 13, 2004

    Sharon Rocha Does Not "Owe The Public"

    Almost daily I read a post on a crime forum, an opinion on a weblog, or a reader's letter sent to a newspaper that pompously or plaintively asserts that Sharon Rocha or the Rocha family "owes the public". This is usually in the context of a complaint because the family has opposed the televising of the murder trial of Scott Peterson or made some qualified objections to a made for TV movie about the case.

    These people seem to contend that when a person utilizes the media in one of it's intended purposes; that being to to disperse information to the public in a life or death situation, that citizen has made a figurative if not literal “deal” and now "owes the public", the right to perpetrate future intrusions, impositions, infringements and expectations upon them. Therefore because the Rochas were caring enough, smart enough and fortunate enough to get the media to pay attention to them in their desperate search for Laci they now "owe the public".

    Horsecrap.

    Sharon Rocha and her family owe the public nothing but a sincere "thank you for your thoughts and prayers" and that's it.

    They don't owe us cameras in the courtroom. They don't owe us cable movies. They don't owe us a comment everytime a microphone is stuck in their face. They don't owe us public appearances at charity events. They don't owe us TV interviews. They don't owe us "tell all" books. They don't owe us foundations set up in their dead relative's names using them as spokespersons. If they choose to do any of this, God bless them I say, go for it. But if they chose instead to retreat to a quiet, private life, to hide in a cave, to howl at the moon, or whatever, I would still say God bless them and go for it.

    heart.jpgThe Rochas did feel they owed their neighbors and community something more and so, organized a memorial for Laci and Conner to allow these friends, volunteers and others to join with them and know their efforts were appreciated. They even allowed it to be televised it so we far flung members of the public could feel a communion with the event, and share the grief in her death but also the celebration of her life. I appreciated that gesture, whether I deserved it or not.

    "But they asked for our help" cry the biddies, coffee cups and ashtrays at hand... "They owe us now".

    Horsecrap.

    Do we only assist people in need in order to get something in return? That's not helping. That's bartering, bargaining, blackmail even. As if to say, "why yes, I'll look at that missing poster on TV but then you will owe me an unending debt forever after, lady". The Rochas have already paid an horrific price... the loss of two loved ones. How much more does "the public" think they are owed?

    What did we, "the public" do to help find Laci anyway? What could I, thousands of miles away have done to help? Nothing but say a prayer, give a second look at any pregnant woman or newborn I might see, send a donation maybe, that's about it. I don’t make light of the power of the prayers and positive thoughts of millions of people, but I don’t think anyone I pray for therefore “owes me”.

    I do disagree with the Rocha’s opposition to the cameras in the courtroom. I want to hear every word of it and see every facial nuance and physical twitch. Failing that, I want to read the transcripts of the trial and judge for myself what the case against Scott Peterson truly is, but even that is being made near impossible for the public. Stumbling blocks are being strewn over an obstacle course for the media making it difficult for them to get the facts, much less pass it on to us. Yes, I disagree with the banning of the cameras and the effectively “secret trial” , but that disappointment and disagreement is based on what I perceive as my rights as United States citizen, and on my own blasted curiosity with this case ….

    but not because Sharon Rocha or her surviving family owes me a gosh darned thing.


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    February 12, 2004

    Peterson Case - Plan B From Out There

    "I know somebody out there knows something and I wish they would come forward so this would all be over."

    planb.jpg
    That's what Jackie Peterson said outside the courthouse where her son's murder trial began yesterday.

    Pardon me?

    I thought according to what this family has been babbling for months, that Mark Geragos, Uber Lawyer, had this thing all sewn up, mystery woman in protective hiding, investigation completed, exculpatory evidence in hand, multiple witnesses lined up in neat rows, real killers found, case solved, and reservations made for Scott's celebratory dinner.

    What happened?

    If Jackie Peterson is still plaintively pining for "somebody out there" to "come forward".... well, in the immortal words of Dr. Henry Lee... "sumsing wong". Is Plan B for setting Scotty free in disarray?

    If Jackie Peterson is still wishing for someone who "knows something", why then go forward in a relative hurry with this trial? Why not opt for the delaying tactics Geragos is so practiced at, and give "somebody out there" more time to experience a miracle of recollection or conscience and "come forward"? The poor woman must have jumped like Pavlov's dog when that "mysterious letter" made it's way up the aisle to the judge, thinking "someone out there" had finally "come forward", not to mention front and center.

    Remember when Jackie said of Geragos... "We got lucky, God sent him our way." ? Where now are the smugly confident smiles from the family gathered around their Heaven sent savior? Why doesn't Geragos steer Jackie around the courthouse like a Walmart shopping cart anymore, while Lee shuffles three paces behind like a dutiful manservant instead of her husband? For that matter... where was Lee on the first day of his son's murder trial? Home making the tea?

    Don't get me wrong, Geragos can be crafty and cunning at times and some people buy his brand of fertilizer so he has every chance in the world of pulling an acquittal out of his hat ... or some body orifice that I'll leave unnamed. But somehow the Peterson family just seems to have lost that loving feeling for the God sent Geragos.

    ------------------------------------------------
    A tip of the hat here to the inspiration for the theme and collage today... one of the worst movies ever made, Plan 9 From Outer Space, written and directed by Ed Wood. A synopsis from World of Movies.com reads:

    "Aliens whose first 8 plans for getting mankind's attention didn't work try re-animating corpses, but this does not get them a sympathetic hearing."

    I'm laughing here, I'm laughing.

    ------------------------------------------------
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    -----------------------------------------
    As always, any comments I make on the Peterson case and the persons involved is opinion and speculation on my part based on media reports and conversations with Modesto friends which must be construed as rumor until and unless proven otherwise.

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    February 11, 2004

    Peterson Case - The King of Delays... Didn't

    Some of us have followed the sad case of Laci Peterson's disappearance and murder diligently from the start. Our ultimate goal was to see the true and proper perpetrator come to trial. Today that trial begins, although not all we "followers" of the case agree that the accused is the true perpetrator.

    My nagging focus for the past week has been why Mark Geragos, an attorney known to diligently and repeatedldy employ the time honored defense tactic of delay, delay, delay.... did not, in the Peterson case. Other than a few requested delays, some of which were initiated by or agreed upon complacently by the prosecution, there have been few delays, in a case which you would think would breed them like rabbits. So why? I am compiling here some of the observations and possibilities I have heard from pundits and some thoughts of my own:

    gaveltime.jpg

    • The defense truly believes the prosecution has a weak case and sees no reason to delay?
    • Scott truly believes he will be acquitted and refuses to delay further, no matter what Geragos advises?
    • The Peterson family members footing the bill refuse to countenance any further delays?
    • Could Jackie's state of health be a factor in this as well, i.e. fearing she will not be here to see her son exonerated?
    • The Petersons have little or limited funds for a long, delayed process and Geragos may not be qualified or certified to try the case if Scott is declared indigent, therefore forcing him to him to either give up the case or try it for free? In that case, he wouldn't want it to drag on too long but rather try it for his face time now?
    • The defense feels that the prosecution case will only get stronger with time, discover more, find anchors, more helpful science develop, polish their case more expertly with time?
    • Has Geragos indeed been kicked to the curb by Michael Jackson, as rumored and feeling the need to save face wants the Peterson case to take center ring... with him as ringmaster? Never underestimate the need for an Uber Lawyer's need to feed his media Jones and keep his own ego as overinflated as a starlet's chest?
    • Or is this all a case of "Push Me Pull You"? Is Geragos saying "let's get it on" while in reality he's still looking to delay in every way? It's already being touted heavily that he seems to be setting up his ducks for another change of venue request.

    Personally, right now I am partial to the idea that says the defense feels the prosecution can be caught unprepared as in the Simpson case. Geragos, in my opinion, thinks himself smarter, savvier, flashier, funnier, more convincing, more cunning, more charming, etc. ad nauseum, than the diligent but somewhat dull prosecutors.

    It's like pitting a peacock against a pair of gray doves.

    ------------------------------------------

    I posted last night here that the Rochas did NOT call for a public boycott of the USA movie, "The Perfect Husband" as was reported by Ted Rowlands and many other outlets. It has been reported now, in an very interesting article from the Modesto Bee.

    Quote from the article: She stopped short of calling for a boycott, questioning the effectiveness of such a move.

    Watch for a possible verbal statement by the Rochas after court today.

    -----------------------------------------------
    ADDENDUM -- Added 6:36pm on 2/11/04
    http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/living/health/7930151.htm

    Well they did talk to reporters today. Read above link from the Mercury News.

    Quote: ``The past few weeks, we all kept thinking we shouldn't be going to court,'' he said. ``We should be celebrating Conner's 1st birthday. I should be teasing Laci about Conner keeping her up all night.'' Conner, Peterson's unborn son, was due to be born Feb. 10, 2003.

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    February 10, 2004

    Conner ~ 2004

    garden.jpg





    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    ADDENDUM --- Added February 10 at 8:49pm. The following:

    The Rochas just issued a statement about the coming USA movie.


    I do not have the full text of the statement but the gist is that they want to remind people it is fictional, not fact, has inaccuracies, they are concerned about the impact on the jury pool, called it a poor and inaccurate representation and the final line was .....

    "Our focus is the truth and justice for Laci and Conner."


    They will most likely make a statement tomorrow at the court appearance, outside or whatever.

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    February 07, 2004

    Peterson Case - A Death Qualified Jury

    I have been of the opinion that the prosecution declaring this a death penalty case almost immediately was a mistake and most likely a political move on the part of someone high on the Stanislaus District Attorney's totem pole. After watching a KTVU video clip online with prosecutor Jim Hammer, I realized another aspect of the prosecution's death penalty designation and went on to read a bit more on the subject online. Several things of note to be considered:

    • Trying your case under the auspice of the death penalty may give the prosecution an advantage. Because it allows them to seat a jury of people who support or at least are amenable to the death penalty, some feel that renders a group of jurors who are more law and order oriented, more conservative... in essence more likely to convict. Was this then, more likely to be the reason the prosecution went with the death penalty rather than political motives as I suspected?

    • In some cases, asking for the death penalty is a ploy of the prosecution, in the same vein as overcharging a defendant. In essence, they are plumping up the case, so that if they find themselves contemplating a plea offer later from the defense, they are starting from a high point of bargaining i.e. death when it reality from the start they would have been satisfied with a life sentence. In other words, it's like selling a house, you start with an asking price much higher than what you expect to get, just to give yourself some room to bargain and let the finagling buyer think he's made a real deal.

    • While seating a death qualified jury may indeed give the prosecution a group that leans toward conviction, some legal experts think it also holds some pitfalls for them and benefits for the defense . They posit that to qualify for a death penalty jury the possible juror must not only be willing to impose death but also to consider a life without parole sentence. Effectively, those raging, "see only in black and white" persons who believe in an automatic death penalty for murderers would be kicked out of the pool just as quickly as those who have moral objections to the death penalty.

    • In the same vein; some legal experts believe that death qualified juries may actually hold the prosecution to a very high standard of proof and performance, giving short shrift to sloppy work, fuzzy theories, and poor presentation.
      Could this bite the prosecution in the behind later?
    • justice.jpg

    • The Peterson defense has made a request for a separate jury for the death penalty phase, should a conviction be obtained. Originally I believed this might be because Geragos was in effect almost conceding that Peterson was likely to be convicted and was laying groundwork to at least save his life. After listening to attorney Hammer in the KTVU video linked above, I see another aspect to this. Having a separate and different jury for the penalty phase would mean that the jury seated for the guilt phase would not have to be death qualified, thereby negating the prosecution's possible tactic of "stacking the deck" with jurors more likely to convict. This would give the defense a better chance at having liberal, "open minded" jurors who might give their imperfect theories and in my opinion, meager offerings of reasonable doubt more consideration. Sorry, but I think you can be "open minded" and still be able to consider the death penalty
    • Every talking head expert I have seen thus far on the cable shows has said it is very unlikely that the judge will grant the defense request for a separate juries. This alone (tongue in cheek here) causes me give it a good chance of happening. Whenever I hear pundits nearly unanimously agree on any subject, I am on alert for a group talking head explosion. Now that would make a fine special effect for Greta's show, aaayy? Show that silly Brady Bunch style split screen of all the members of her "panel" and then the heads of those who predicted wrongly.... explode! Sorry, just a warped little daydream of mine.

    More than ever, after reading various articles and opinions on death qualified juries and separate juries, I am convinced that this and many other high profile trials are won or lost with the jury selection. No wonder people like Jo Ellan Dimitrius make a good living at helping both sides of this game sandbag their juries. It's legal, it's allowed... but does it serve justice?

    Related links:

    http://www.ktvu.com/video/2806714/detail.html

    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2002/03/14/news/opinion/courtwatch/main503787.shtml

    http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/metro/danielle/20020526-9999_1m26jury.html

    http://www.modbee.com/local/story/8071507p-8931018c.html

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    Don't you just wonder if Mama P. heated up the phone line to Geragos asking why the heck he didn't safeguard Vivian Mitchell's terribly important testimony by requesting a conditional examination? He didn't... I'm told, he never requested it. Maybe that cost extra and the Pee's must have went with the economy six figure plan?

    ------------------------------------------------
    Don't expect to see the immediate Rocha family at the Monday, February 9th court date or at any public observance of Laci's due date on February 10th, which is loosely regarded as Conner's birthdate.

    ------------------------------------------------
    I'm told that National Enquirer story about Rose Rocha relating a conversation with Scott in which he said he was "hoping for infertility", is true.

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    As always, any comments I make on the Peterson case and the persons involved is opinion and speculation on my part based on media reports and conversations with Modesto friends which must be construed as rumor until and unless proven otherwise.

    03:22 AM in i)Peterson Case 2004 Feb. | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack

    February 05, 2004

    Peterson Case - Brazelton Brandishing Gun? - Mitchell Deceased

    I must confess while my chips have been placed with the prosecution in the Peterson case because I have sincere beliefs regarding Scott Peterson's guilt.... I have long had nagging reservations about Stanislaus County District Attorney James Brazelton. Nothing I can specifically justify, just my perception and reaction. Something about him seems too.... ? .... well too much. To be fair I have heard that he has been very supportive of Sharon Rocha and family. But I have a small suspicion that the death penalty tag stuck on this case, was pinned on by Brazelton? Just my guess, but to me it smells of political posturing?

    guns.jpgBrazelton is a former police officer, who as a rookie made an arrest in the 1963 murder of another officer. The crime sparked the nonfiction book and movie; The Onion Field by Joseph Wambaugh.

    But today there is a story of a different sort, coming from the Modesto Bee:

    ModBee article

    It recounts the revelation that District Attorney Brazelton is being investigated for "brandishing a firearm" in his office and making threatening remarks about two Modesto Bee reporters. One is Garth Stapley, who has been responsible for many of the ModBee articles on the Laci Peterson case. Stapley and Mooney, in August, 2003 wrote stories telling of yet another investigation of Brazelton, this time for using a credit card issued by his employer, for alcohol purchases. An audit later cleared him of violating state law in the matter. Earlier in June, a Stapley article included comments by Brazelton that may have violated the gag order issued in the Peterson case.

    Brazelton's alledged actions and threats, "created a hostile work environment" and were reported by other office employees.

    Again though, in the interest of being fair, while Mr. Brazelon seems to go at his job with great gusto, perhaps that is the most necessary component of doing it well. Maybe in his job, you're always a target, so to speak.

    ---------------------------------------------

    Vivian Mitchell, the woman who reported seeing Laci Peterson in black pants and white shirt walking her Golden Retriever past her house on Christmas Eve morning has died. Once rattled before the media by the defense and the Peterson family as proof of Scott's innocence, her "sighting" was much in question later, due to the time Karen Servas can prove she returned the dog to the yard and most definitively by the fact that Laci's remains still wore the tan pants her sister saw her in the night before. Tan pants, not black pants as Vivian reported.IF the defense still had any notion of using Mrs. Mitchell's testimony, as well meaning as it might have been, they certainly can not now.

    I was told that in order for her testimony to be presented now, a Conditional Examination would have to have been done. I was told that it appears this was not done.... that no conditional examination was ever requested by the defense. One has to wonder why? Why, when the defense purported that this woman's testimony was exculpatory and therefore crucially important and knowing her advanced age... WHY did they not do a conditional examination some time ago? Her husband could possibly testify to what little he saw, after Vivian "hollered" to him, but he can not testify as to what his wife saw. That would be hearsay, I am told.

    Why they would want to use her testimony, I can't explain satisfactorily other than as an example of the Modesto Police Department ignoring all tips that did not fit into their "theory", as both the defense and the Peterson family insist. It is my belief that the defense will have to abandon any witnesses who "saw" Laci walking in black pants. They have to do this in my opinion so they can claim that Scott did see Laci in black pants when he left, claim she did change to the tan pants and was observed by Diana Campos in the park with the two "dirty men" who kidnapped her, as Geragos blathered in the second 995 hearing.

    Diana Campos claimed not to remember what Laci's pants were, but said she wore a white top. Not remembering the pants color keeps her viable for Geragos' fantastical embroideries. The time she claimed to see Laci is a problem, but I have a sneaking suspicion they have found a way around that. It will be interesting to see what the Uber Lawyer and his trained monkeys come up with.
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    Additional related news links from today:

    Sharon Rocha Writes Letter to Presidential Hopeful John Kerry


    National Review Online article

    Sharon Rocha's Letter to John Kerry
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    Will another important but somewhat peripheral figure in this case be out of the picture soon? I'm hearing a whisper of a maybe.

    ------------------------------------------------
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    As always, any comments I make on the Peterson case and the persons involved is opinion and speculation on my part based on media reports and conversations with Modesto friends which must be construed as rumor until and unless proven otherwise.

    01:37 PM in Weblogs, i)Peterson Case 2004 Feb., r)Peterson Case - All | Permalink | Comments (28) | TrackBack

    February 04, 2004

    Peterson Case - Geragos Time - Rochas Lodging

    Just a couple of bits of information for today, important in their own rights.

    -------------------------------------------
    I heard from a friend that a local California television station, KOVR, reported last night that free lodging,
    and in some cases even entire homes had been offered to the Rocha family for their convenience during the trial in San Mateo county. It is likely that the Rochas will accept one of these offers.

    The report also stated that some members of Laci's family had received offers from fellow employees of blessings.jpg
    donated vacation time, so they could attend some of the trial and support the family.

    And lastly that Sharon Rocha's employer had indicated that Sharon would be able to take whatever time off necessary, paid, in order to attend the trial.

    I am glad to hear of these kind offerings from both Modesto and San Mateo Co. citizens. Bless you folks.

    -----------------------------------
    time.jpg
    There is an excellent article in the Los Angeles Times, available for reading online if you register with them, free of course. It is a must read article in my opinion, shedding light on the unsavory tactic of delaying a case for an unseemly amount of time, to the detriment of justice.

    LA TIMES ARTICLE

    It reports that an Orange County Superior Court judge ordered Mark Geragos to appear in court today with his appointment book to prove he has time to handle a case which has been delayed by the defense FIVE years. During that FIVE year delay by Geragos & Co. ;

    'three potential witnesses have died and memories of others have faded since the suspect's arrest, said Orange City Atty. David DeBerry.'

    Other quotes from the article:

    'I don't see why this case should take a back seat to the other trial," the judge said Tuesday'

    ' "Judges in the lesser-known cases don't like feeling they're being treated like a second-[class] court," said Levenson, a former federal prosecutor who teaches criminal evidence at Loyola Law School. "They're beginning to wonder why Geragos is taking on so much." '

    'Other prosecutors said high-profile attorneys often use a crowded case schedule as a tactical court maneuver to weaken witnesses' memories and break victims' resolve.'

    'Schall said. "It's hard, because you want to see defendants get a fair trial, but then these overbooked defense lawyers come along and muddy up the system." '

    ' "Any criminal defense attorney worth his or her salt will decline a client whose case would jeopardize those already in progress," said veteran lawyer Paul Meyer, who defended Merrill Lynch in the Orange County bankruptcy case.'

    ------------------------------------------------
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    As always, any comments I make on the Peterson case and the persons involved is opinion and speculation on my part based on media reports and conversations with Modesto friends which must be construed as rumor until and unless proven otherwise.

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    February 02, 2004

    Peterson Case - Laci Had A Trial - Letter

    Today's entry is not my work. It is a letter written by a poster on Court TV's public forum who uses the nickname "HanktotheBank". "Hank" posted this letter originally on Sept. 30, 2003. Published in the San Mateo County Times on January 30, it is still just as powerful.

    Letter to San Mateo County Times
    sunflower.jpg

    Remember real victims

    LACI'S TRIAL was held behind closed doors; there were no cameras and no press. There were no formal charges. The trial took place inside the killer's head. Laci did not have the right to an attorney. As a matter of fact, a defense wasn't allowed. There was no judge to assure a fair process, nor a jury to listen to testimony and weigh the evidence. There were no depositions, no preliminary hearings and no witnesses to testify. Nor was exculpatory evidence allowed; discovery was impossible as she was not even aware the trial was taking place. No closing arguments were presented in her case, no alternate theories, no smoke, no mirrors.

    In fact she had no defense whatsoever. There was no family to support her innocence. They were unaware as well. She had no Constitutional rights, nor Miranda warning and no presumption of innocence.

    She was found guilty and sentenced to death without the right of appeal. The brutal sentence was carried out without the mercy of a needle, and there were no last rites.

    Remember the real victims as we listen to the self righteous indignation about the rights of the accused.

    Henry Wershaw

    Delray Beach, Fla.

    Court TV thread started by "HanktotheBank


    Thank you Mr. Wershaw.

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    As always, any comments I make on the Peterson case and the persons involved is opinion and speculation on my part based on media reports and conversations with Modesto friends which must be construed as rumor until and unless proven otherwise.

    10:02 AM in Weblogs, i)Peterson Case 2004 Feb., r)Peterson Case - All | Permalink | Comments (6) | TrackBack

    February 01, 2004

    Peterson Case - Outhouse Blues

    All's ah kin say is "whut a deal" !!

    221 square feet of prime San Mateo property fer only $51,000 ....and it includes an outhouse!. Ya cain't beat that with a stick!

    outhouse.jpg


    OK OK OK .... It's really a Port A Potty. An outhouse was more fun to play with!

    ------------------------------------------------
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    As always, any comments I make on the Peterson case and the persons involved is opinion and speculation on my part based on media reports and conversations with Modesto friends which must be construed as rumor until and unless proven otherwise.

    03:57 AM in Weblogs, i)Peterson Case 2004 Feb., r)Peterson Case - All | Permalink | Comments (23) | TrackBack